They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their robes on them, and He sat on them. A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. Then the crowds who went ahead of Him and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven! When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds kept saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!" Matt. 21:7-11As Jesus rode into Jerusalem He was hailed as the Son of David. The entire city of Jerusalem was shaken by the expectation of an eminent fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant of a King ruling the nations from Jerusalem. We western evangelicals seem to have forgotten about the Davidic covenant. Obviously, Jesus didn't take the throne by force and immediately manifest Himself as King over the nation of Israel. However, because of this it seems like many have interpreted Jesus' actions as re-defining the promised Kingdom of David. Did Jesus redefine and reorient old testament promises? Did God promise David a literal heir who would rule over a literal kingdom from literal Jerusalem? Or did David and all the old testament prophets just misinterpret the promised Kingdom as literal when it was really an etherial heavenly kingdom?
.... 'The Lord declares to you: The Lord Himself will make a house for you. When your time comes and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up after you your descendant, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me..... - 2 Sam. 7:11-14Obviously when reading the story of David (and all the O.T. prophets) it is so very clear that the LORD is promising David and the people of Israel an everlasting Davidic Kingdom with an everlasting King who would be called the son of David (and the "son of God") who would rule forever from the city of David - Jerusalem.
The problem for most Christians is that we don't read the old testament. Because of this we don't know what the old testament was promising so we don't understand what the new testament is fulfilling. Almost every Christian I know when someone says the Kingdom of God they think of some etherial heavenly undefined thing. The reality is that the "kingdom" that Christians are referring to biblically is firmly rooted in the promise to David of a "son" who would rule the nations in a literal theocratic kingdom from Jerusalem. We need to read the bible cover to cover again and realize that the new testament doesn't stand alone... christianity wasn't really a new religion it was simply the fulfillment of the old testament. God's redemption is a story .... a narrative... and when reading a story you have to read the first chapters to understand the later chapters otherwise you will be lost.
Another thing I have found related to the misunderstanding of the coming Kingdom is that people think that Jesus' last name is Christ when in reality "Christ" is a greek translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah. Why is this important and relevant? Well, the title Messiah biblically in and of itself has nothing to do with the substitutionary atoning death on a cross but rather is nothing more than the throne title of the King of Israel. Obviously, the Messiah did provide that substitutionary atoning death and resurrection but Messiah in an of itself simply means King of Israel. Messiah means anointed one, which comes from the action of the King of Israel having a flask of oil poured on his head... so the people knew who the king was by the one who had the oil poured on his head by the priest, thus he King of Israel was known as the anointed one.
Saul, and ironically Cyrus are called both called "Messiah" or anointed one . In 1 Sam 24:10 Saul is called Messiah... the hebrew word transliterated word is Mashiyach. This is where we get the english word Messiah which means anointed one. The greek word for anointed one is transliterated Christos and is where we get the english word Christ. Cyrus was also called the Mashiyach in Isaiah 45:1. Most evangelicals when they hear Messiah the immediately think of the cross (which I like that people think of the cross) but our first thought when hearing the word Messiah or Christ should be King of Israel. Just as pharaoh was the throne title of the king of Egypt so Messiah was the throne title of Israel. Since the word Messiah has become detached from Jesus as the king of a literal kingdom promised to David we have become detached from an expectation and hope being anchored in Jesus restoring the Kingdom of David to Israel.
[Referring to Psalm 89] We have to stop and think about of David’s anointing for a while, for it contains important themes that will recur in our study of the psalms. When he was anointed by Samuel, David became the anointed of the Lord. Now the English word “anointed” is a translation of the Hebrew word mashiah, which has come into English as “Messiah”. Therefore it is true to say that when David was anointed by Samuel, he became the Messiah of the Lord. This may seem strange to you. Maybe you are thinking, but I thought Jesus was the Messiah. And, of course, that is also true. So let me try and explain a bit further. What we must understand is that Messiah is not a name, like John or Tom; nor is it simply a title, like Mister or Sir. Messiah is an office, like President or King. More precisely, Messiah is the throne-name of the kings of Israel. Let me explain. In the ancient world kings had throne-names. The best known example is Pharaoh, the throne-name of the kings of Egypt. Pharaoh is not the Egyptian word for king. It is, in fact, Egyptian for “big house”.......But it was taken by all the kings of Egypt as a throne-title, to let all the people know that they were the guy who lived in the big house, that they were number one. Every king of Egypt took this throne-name. When one died, the next one who came up was also called Pharaoh. But it was not taken by other kings in say, Babylon, or Greece. Something similar was found among the Arameans in Syria. All their kings took the title, Ben-Hadad, which means son of thunder, And, since thunder represented the storm-god Baal, the name said that the Syrian king was the son of Baal, the son of the god. Likewise with the Israelite throne-name Mashiah Yehowah, the Messiah of the Lord...The name appears to have been borne by all the kings of Israel. First, Saul bore it. Then David. Then Solomon. Many years later, Jeremiah gives it to King Josiah. And, here in vv. 38 and 51 of our psalm, it is applied to yet another king of David’s line. And, of course, in Jesus’ time, everyone was looking for yet another mashiah from the house of David. Isaiah, speaking ironically, even calls the Persian conqueror Cyrus a mashiah, as if as to say that Cyrus will do the job of Israel’s king and deliver Israel from exile, when their true kings are all powerless. So the throne-name mashiah was borne by all the kings of Israel. In fact, we might be better to talk not about King David and King Solomon, but about Messiah David, and Messiah Solomon, and Messiah Hezekiah and Messiah Josiah, and so on, just as we talk about Pharaoh Ramses and Pharaoh Akhen-aten and Pharaoh Tut-ankh-amun. That would help us to see that the Messiah was a continual historical ideology among the Israelites, and not just a belief about the ultimate redeemer. [unpublished sermon on Ps. 89 by Psalms and Hebrew scholar David Mitchell, found by IHOPU teacher Matt Chandler and referenced in Session 10b of His life of David FSM class]Beloved, during Jesus' trial He was put to death because He was claiming to be King, all of Pilates' interactions with Jesus revolve around if He is the King or not? And nailed to His cross was the title King of the Jews. This was not an ambiguous title, this was a clear reference to the fact that Jesus was claiming to be the promised Davidic King who would forever sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem.... hence the name son of David - the King who would reign forever.
How sad it is that I have heard theologians say that Jesus Ascended into heaven where He sat down on at the right hand of God thus sitting down on His promised seat in the Kingdom ?!?!?! What? How could sitting down at the right hand of the Father's throne in heaven be David's Throne?
Jesus main message in the gospels is the Kingdom of God. The old testament talks about this Kingdom in very concrete terms but Jesus uses parables and many think that Jesus is redefining the Kingdom to be a spiritual kingdom rather than a real theocratic kingdom based in the city of Jerusalem. So the question is: Did Jesus redefine the Kingdom?
The obvious answer is NO!!!!!!!! Jesus DID disrupt the expectation of that Davidic Kingdom immediately appearing, but He never redefined and eradicated its promised appearing. His parables are not meant to explain some etherial Kingdom that was different from the old testament. So why did Jesus speak about he Kingdom of God so much in parables?
Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11 And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. 15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' Matt. 13:10-15So much of what I have heard taught on the parables comes from the idea that Jesus was trying to use cultural terms to help people better understand His message. However, this is just not in the scripture. Jesus was speaking parables to separate the wheat from the chaff. The hungry would press in for more understanding and would receive insight but the hardened would be given over to their hardening. The parables are a form of judgement not a means to make things more palatable for the people of Israel.
With this in view we cannot take the parables and overlay them on top of the old testament prophecies concerning the Kingdom and come to the conclusion that Jesus was redefining Jewish expectation of the Kingdom of God. The Jews were NOT expecting a King who would die in a sacrificial, substitutionary atonement and they WERE WRONG in that sense of their expectation, but this NEVER changed or redefined the essence of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is still the same kingdom spoken of by all the prophets and is the hope that we are still waiting for..... Jesus the son of David to sit upon His glorious throne and rule the nations from Jerusalem.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" Matt. 23:37-39Here Jesus affirms that it was good and right for the Jews to welcome Him into Jerusalem as the promised Davidic King, and He is saying to the religious leaders that because they did not understand the time of their visitation judgement would come upon the nation again (70ad and another dispersion among the nations). But He then says that they WOULD one day see Him again and in THAT DAY they will AGAIN say Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD... Hosanna to the Son of David! Jesus emphatically affirms that He is the Davidic King and that one day He would sit upon the throne of David and all the nations would surrender to His leadership... Jew first and then the gentiles.....
It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,3 and many peoples shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD. Is. 2:2-5After the resurrection and right before the Ascension the disciples asked Jesus if He was going immediately restore the Kingdom to Israel. Jesus tells them its not for them to know the times determined by the father but He doesn't correct them in their expectation, but rather affirms it. The Apostles weren't all together shaken in their old testament hope of the coming kingdom. After the death, burial and resurrection of their King (who they were now understanding was also divine) they were still expectant of the promised Davidic kingdom.
So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold,two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:6-11This is stunning.... Jesus basically answers the Apostles questions about the coming kingdom by saying that they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit to bear witness to the coming kingdom. Then the angels also answer their question about the coming kingdom by saying to them that Just as He left so will He return..... and upon His return He WILL establish that promised kingdom.
Beloved, we are in sojourn waiting for this promised Davidic kingdom and Jesus surely will come and all nations will surrender to His leadership and worship before Him. We need to return to an Israel-centric eschatology and go back and read our old testaments and get ourselves rooted and grounded in the biblical hope of the restoration of all things through the coming Davidic King.
Old Testament hope: Ps. 2 You [ King set upon the holy hill] shall break them [all nations] with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
Same New Testament hope: She [Israel] gave birth to a male child [Jesus], one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne (Rev. 12:5), From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron..... (Rev. 19:15)